With a spate of fatal and near fatal crashes raising doubts about the safety of the power storage system in Tesla sports models, the corporate stock exchange valuation taking hit after hit and Elon Musk's promises loking more and more unrealistic as the company's operating deficit gets bigger and bigger, today has brought another shock for fanboys of Tesla and electric vehicles in general.
The progress of theTesla Model 3, which was supposed to be the "entry-level" electric vehicle for the middle class, that would take electric cars into the volume market has been beset failures to meet promised production levels as well as technical setbacks.
Leading up to the launch of the Model 3, it was positioned as the people's EV, the electric car that everybody could afford, rather than being just a toy for virtue signalling liberal luvvies. Once in mass production, Musk promised, economies of scale would help the cash burning Tesla Corp. generate cash and profits consistently. The car's relatively modest $35,000 price tag (Only about $10k more expensive than comparable Ford, GM or Volkswagen models,) was heralded as one of its key selling points, low enough that Tesla could generate the volume needed to gain operating leverage by selling it to the masses.
But as Elon Musk himself admitted this weekend on Twitter, selling a $35,000 Model 3 right now would cause Tesla to "lose money and die". So, instead of selling this mass-market vehicle, Tesla has focused on selling a more expensive version of the vehicle. A much, much more expensive version, in fact more than double the base price. Yes, $70k for a very ordinary family car with a proven tendency to incinerate its occupants.
A lot of bollocks has been talked about Tesla cars, surely the public (apart from sceptics like me who know that the current generation of EVs have no more chance of being commercially successful that the first battery powered automobile, launched in 1829, and for the same reasons. Technology may have improved a zillion times since then, but so has what we expect an automobile to be able to do for us.
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